Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has sent condolences to the government and people of India following an explosion and fire at the Puttingal Devi Temple, which he descried as catastrophic.
“On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, I send my deepest condolences to the Government of India and to everyone affected, particularly to the families and friends of those killed and injured in the explosion at the temple,” said President Zuma on Monday.
The fire killed over 110 people and wounded hundreds of others in the early hours on Sunday in Paravul, Kerala State in southern India.
The death toll may further go up as over 350 injured are battling for their lives at various hospitals.
The flames engulfed part of the temple premises, where some 15 000 people, mostly women and children, gathered for fireworks performance, according to Indian officials.
The explosion and blaze at the temple was reported to be sparked by a stray firework.